Pokot and Western Christian Missions: A Postcolonial Story of Place and Perception

Authors: Julie Morris*, University of Kansas
Topics: Africa, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Africa, Kenya, Pokot, history, culture, missions, Christianity, place, postcolonial, perspective
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation Link: Open in New Window
Presentation File: Download

In 1931, after decades of British colonial control, the first Western Christian missionary came to Pokot in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. For the past ninety years, missionaries, from England, Ireland, the United States, and other Western countries, have come to Pokot with a message of evangelism and initiatives for development. Throughout the decades, the mission organizations and missionaries working in Pokot and among the Pokot people have developed their own perceptions of Pokot which in turn informed the strategies they undertook. The Pokot people have responded with resistance, ambivalence, and hybridized acceptance to the message and mission of these outsiders. The layers of perceptions, strategies, and responses have helped inform a history of the contact zone between Western Christian missions and Pokot and develop and direct a dynamic sense of place at the contact zone. The story of this contact zone is told through a postcolonial perspective, highlighting power, agency, and ambivalence through the voices of the actors in place.

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